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Species: Amblyraja radiata, Starry skate, Thorny skate

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disc rhomboidal, corners angular
snout short, firm
disc: central row 9-34 very large thorns - nape to D
disc covered in thorns
tail short, stout

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Amblyraja radiata  (Donovan, 1808)

Starry skate, Thorny skate

Body thick; disc rhomboidal, outer corners angular;  front edge of disc undulating in male; tail short, stout, < disc length; snout short, bluntly angled, its tip firm due to broad tapering snout cartilage; front pectoral fin rays distinctly separate from tip of snout; two lobes of pelvic fins connected by membrane; entire upper surface of disc rough with thorns with ribbed bases, many small thorns scattered over snout and pectorals; most of disc and tail with coarse denticles; large ribbed thorns around eyes & spiracles, on nape and shoulders; center of disc with a row of 9-34 very large thorns (with star-shaped, ribbed bases) from nape to 1st dorsal fin, number of those thorns varies geographically; claspers (sex organs) of mature males large, with club-shaped widened tip.

Upper surface uniform brown, or brown with darker mottling and a few pale blotches, often with rosettes of blackish dots; lower surface white, occasionally with sooty blotches and indistinct grey margins; pores on underside of disc not darkly pigmented.

Reach 110 cm, maximum varies geographically; reaches 16 y.

Benthic on continental shelf and slope

Depth range 18-1400, mainly 27-439 m; in the south limited to the deeper part of this range

 Both sides of the north Atlantic; Greenland to South Carolina, rare south of Cape Hatteras.


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Salinity
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
Inshore/Offshore
  • In & Offshore
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
Habitat
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
Diet
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
  • Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Benthic
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • All species
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
Residency
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Vulnerable
  • Listed
CITES
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 110
Depth Range Min
  • 18
Depth Range Max
  • 1400